I knew there were enough other "odd" things on my computer, but that sent me over the edge. I ripped it all away and reinstalled Windows XP this evening. I considered rolling back to Windows 2000 (as two of my very good friends have confirmed that the games I like work under it), but my Win2K install disc is an "upgrade" and I couldn't find an older version to use as the "upgrade" source.
Anyway... getting things back together. Hooray. *sigh* Going to be annoying for a few days, but most of the "important" things are also set up on the laptop, which should make it not that bad.